What lack can you offer up to God?
A reflection for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
by Louisa Florentin
“This is literally all I have left. Beyond this, I have nothing else to give or receive.”
That’s what I would have said if I were the widow in the Gospel reading. I would have probably hesitated to give my two small coins to the treasury. I would have held onto those coins as tightly as I could, fearing that I would lose the only two things that were still mine. Maybe I would have even compared my offering to the larger offerings given by the rich people, which could have prevented me from giving anything at all.
But that is the exact opposite of what Jesus asks of us. These readings remind us to give, not just what we can, not just what we’re comfortable parting from, but to give our all to God.
Even when we think we don’t have enough, we must give what we lack so that God can complete and fulfill it. Beyond just monetary offerings, our God desires for us to give every piece of our heart to Him.
He is a God of abundance.
What we lack is what He abounds in, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He replenishes our jars of flour and jugs of oil, He sustains the fatherless and the widowed, and He welcomes the poor in spirit into His Kingdom.
What “two small coins” do you have left to give?
When we return to the image of the widow and her two small coins, what comes to mind? If you were in her shoes, what two small coins would you be offering up to the treasury? Are there any areas in your life where there is lack? Is there anything you’re holding onto that you can give to God?
Perhaps you’re on the brink of burnout and need to surrender your struggles to the Lord. Maybe you’re running low on patience and need to ask for God’s grace to replenish you. Or maybe there’s a wound you’re keeping from Jesus’ healing hand.
Whatever it is, however filled your jug of flour or jug of oil is, know that it will never go empty when you offer it up to the Lord.
Because extending your hand to give also opens it up to receive.
Below are some practical ways we can allow Jesus to replenish our lack:
Go to Adoration:
Sometimes we just need some silence. If it’s uncomfortable at first, try going for a few minutes and try to stay longer with each new visit. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, taking the time to re-centre your heart to Christ uplifts the spirit and restores your peace.
Attend daily Mass:
Let’s strive to be more than just Sunday Catholics! If this isn’t already a regular routine for you, try to go to daily Mass before Sunday. It doesn’t have to be every day, though that’s a beautiful goal to aim for. Going to daily Mass even just once a week or month can still radically change your life. Why wait for Sunday to have your jug refilled when you can also have it replenished an additional day in the week?
St. Teresa of Kolkata said it best when she said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
Whether that’s through volunteering, mentoring someone, or doing random acts of kindness, making time to serve others does wonders to the soul. If you’re unsure of where to start, first ask yourself: what brings you joy, what are you good at, and more importantly, how might God be asking you to give of yourself?
The readings for the Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, are
1 Kings 17:10-16
Louisa Florentin is an Associate Producer for Salt + Light Media.